Episode 138. Cabaret Risqué: Broadway Edition

Episode 138. Cabaret Risqué: Broadway Edition



Vivienne Segal

At Countermelody, this April Fool’s Day begins with a dirty musical joke, and a great one! The episode continues with nearly a century’s worth of performances of risqué songs, most but not all of them from musicals. Among the composers and lyricists, the great Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Brecht and Weill, Comden and Green, Carolyn Leigh, Alec Wilder, Stephen Sondheim, Bolcom and Weinstein, Fred Barton, the late Francesca Blumenthal, my friends Richard Pearson Thomas and Lawrence Rush, and the mysterious Durwood Douché. Among the performers, who really let their raunchy side out, Pearl Bailey, Eddie Cantor, Judy Holliday, Mabel Mercer, Gertrude Lawrence, Ann Miller, Vivienne Segal, Marlene Dietrich, Elisabeth Welch, Martha Wright, Raul Julia, Gertrude Niesen, Chita Rivera, Nina Hagen, Mary Martin, Julie Wilson, and Lea DeLaria, among many others. Fasten your seat belts: this is a long episode, but a beautifully down and dirty one!


Alec Wilder

Morty Palitz, Alec Wilder: If You See Kay. William Engvick, Jimmy Carroll and His Orchestra [1950]

Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz: Confession (The Band Wagon). Judy Holliday, orchestra conducted by Buster Davis; arrangement by Glenn Osser [1958]

Irving Berlin: You’d Be Surprised (Ziegfeld Follies of 1919). Eddie Cantor [1920]

Julian Wright, Will E. Haines, Sophie Tucker, Jack Meskill: He Hadn’t Up Till Yesterday. Sophie Tucker [1928]

Porter Grainger: Put It Right Here (Or Keep It out of There). Bessie Smith, Porter Grainger, Charlie Green [1928]

Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht: Die Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit (Die Dreigroschenoper). Nina Hagen, HK Gruber, Ensemble Modern [1999]

Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, English version by John Willett, Ralph Manheim: Ballad of Immoral Earnings [Tango-Ballade] (The Threepenny Opera, NYSF Production). Raul Julia, Ellen Greene, Orchestra conducted by Stanley Silverman [1976]

Cole Porter: Let’s Do It (Paris). Martha Wright, The Joe Harnell Trio [Joe Harnell, Alan Hanlon, Russ Saunders] [1956]

Cole Porter: Love for Sale (The New Yorkers). Elisabeth Welch, Jonathan Cohen, David Rose, Will Hill [live London August 1986]

Cole Porter: I’m a Gigolo (Wake Up and Dream). Cole Porter [1935]

Cole Porter: My Heart Belongs to Daddy (Leave It to Me). Mary Martin, Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra [1939]

Cole Porter: The Physician (Nymph Errant). Gertrude Lawrence [1933]

Cole Porter: Just One of Those Things (Jubilee). Mabel Mercer, Stan Freeman, Cy Walter, Frank Carroll [1956]

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (Pal Joey). Martha Wright, The Joe Harnell Trio [Joe Harnell, Alan Hanlon, Russ Saunders] [1956]

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart: To Keep My Love Alive (A Connecticut Yankee). Vivienne Segal, George Hirst, The Connecticut Yankee Orchestra [1944]

Cole Porter: Katie Went to Haiti (Du Barry Was a Lady). Gertrude Niesen, Leo Reisman and His Orchestra [1939]

Cole Porter: The Leader of a Big-Time Band (Something for the Boys). Kaye Ballard, Carmen Alvarez, Elmarie Wendel, Orchestra conducted by Skip Redwine [1966]

Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green: I Can Cook Too (On the Town). Lea DeLaria, Orchestra conducted by Paul Gemignani [live New York 28.IX.1998]

Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane: An Occasional Man (The Girl Rush). Chita Rivera, Alyn Ainsworth and His Orchestra [1962]

Sheldon Harnick: The Shape of Things (The Littlest Revue). Charlotte Rae, Orchestra conducted by Will Irwin [1956]

Philip Springer, Carolyn Leigh: Westport. Pearl Bailey, produced by Teddy Reig [1960]

Cole Porter: The Laziest Gal in Town (used in Stage Fright). Marlene Dietrich, orchestra arranged and conducted by Burt Bacharach [live London 12.XII.1964]

Stephen Sondheim: Can That Boy Fox-Trot! (Follies) [Paper Mill Playhouse revival]. Ann Miller, Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Tunick [1998]

Stephen Sondheim: I Never Do Anything Twice (The Seven Percent Solution). Julie Wilson, William Roy [1987]

Bob Harvey, John Waters: Female Trouble (Title theme from the film of the same title). Mink Stole and Her Wonderful Band [Scott Wallace Brown, Walker Teret, Skizz Cyzyk] [2013]

William Bolcom, Arnold Weinstein: Toothbrush Time [Cabaret Songs, Book 2]. Joan Morris, William Bolcom [live Ann Arbor II.1985]

Richard Pearson Thomas: Damaged. Trillium Ensemble [Patricia Prunty, Bruce Rameker, Richard Pearson Thomas] [2010]

Fred Barton: Pour Me a Man (Miss Gulch Returns). Fred Barton [1989]

Lawrence Rush: Hello, I Mean… Gayla Morgan, Peter Yarin [ca. 2006]

Ronny Whyte, Francesca Blumental: If He Were Straight and I Were Young. Julie Wilson, Christopher Denny [live New York, April 2008]

Francesca Blumenthal: The Lies of Handsome Men. Bill Daugherty, orchestra arranged and conducted by Doyle Newmyer [2013]

Durwood Douché [né Dick Shreve]: Why Me, God? [Everybody’s Fucking But Me]. Charlie Meredith, Bálint Varga, Aaron Drescher, Thayer Naples, Josh Plotner, Dave D’aranjo [live New York 23.III.2016]

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